"Vivre au Canada, c'est vivre dans quatres pays differents...
un pays par saison."

Michel Conte


Colour Me Canadian!

By / Par: Wendy T. Gibson

Category / Catégorie: Contests

Remembrance Day is almost here again, so Strong & Free, a company founded by Denise Dow, a passionate patriot and a member of our Buy Canadian First  family, is holding a contest!

Strong & Free started as an emblem, designed for patriotic Canadians, that can be proudly displayed on your home, person or vehicle. Denise designed and manufactured the prototype and now all sorts of products come under the Strong & Free  banner and can be found at a variety of stores, including Canadian Tire.


The connection between Strong & Free and Canada's War Veterans is a strong one. I'll let Denise tell you in her own words. "When I was in high school I visited my cousins in the U.S. and saw the American eagle everywhere I went.  I believe that Canada is the greatest country in the world and I want to show everyone that I am proud to be a STRONG & FREE Canadian... that's why I designed this Maple leaf emblem with these powerful words from our national anthem.

This past summer, I participated in a Veterans' motorcycle parade, in the Strong & Free RV, five years after creating the Strong & Free plaque for patriotic Canadians. Just before the parade started, I had several members of the CAV (Canadian Army Veterans), including their leader, Trapper, ask me to put a Strong & Free Decal on their bikes. They told me how much it meant to them that Strong & Free encourages Canadians to be proud of their country - the country that they have so bravely fought for. The best way for us to show our appreciation to these men and women who keep us Strong & Free is to teach our children to celebrate Canada every day as well as those who keep us Strong & Free."


"On July 11, 2011, Reader's Digest reported that 47% of Canadians do not know our anthem! The Colour Me Canadian/Colore-moi Canadien colouring book, teaches children about Canada, our map, our money, our anthem, provinces and territories and is available as a soft cover book, online as an e-book and as a Blackberry app  world wide for $1.99. Free sample pages,  with our anthem and basics about Canada, are available to everyone on our website."


Kelly Ripa with a copy of Colour Me Canadian that she bought for her children! 

Now, you know that I love smart phone apps, colouring and Canada, so to me, this contest has it all! This really is a great colouring book for kids, with cute characters and lots of important information. As a matter of fact, I learned a few things from it myself! Thanks, Denise!


To participate in the contest, all you have to do is download one of the free Colour Me Canadian sample pages and give it to a child who is in any grade up to Grade 5. Next, have them colour the page and post it to the Strong & Free Facebook page. (It's chock full of Canadian celebs!). We will pick our favourite 3 entries. The first prize winner wins the entire colouring book and a "Canada is Cool" mini hockey stick . The second prize winner gets the colouring book plus a Strong & Free magnet and the third prize winner will receive the colouring book and a Strong & Free decal! Contest ends on Remembrance Day, November 11th at 11 AM. Winners will be announced later that day. Good luck and have fun!

What page will you colour first?

:: images courtesy of Strong & Free. 


Member Spotlight: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

By / Par: Wendy T. Gibson

Category / Catégorie: Shopping guides

I make 7 shared breakfasts, 14 lunches and 7 shared suppers, for  a total of 28 meals a week! (That's just for two of us; I can only imagine what it must be like for larger families!) So, I went to the Maple Leaf Market today for help!

I visited the Butcher, the Baker and the Pasta Maker and then had a look at the Meals Made Easy. After that, I got some great B.B.Q. and Grilling Tips, which really put me in a good mood, despite the falling snow that I can see through my living room window. That's right! I went to all these places ... in my living room!  I love the Maple Leaf website!
Talk about informative! This Canadian company is very generous with its nutrition and weight loss information, healthy recipes, meal plans and food safety tips. They've divided it all up into the categories that I mentioned above and made it easy to find what you are searching for, by meal, ingredient or even preparation time. The site is fun, informative and easy to navigate. You can print off coupons, learn more about the food you eat and get some terrific menus, too!

Try bringing your inner Chef out by visiting The Learning Kitchen, viewing teaching videos and printing out information and recipes. Today, I learned how to butterfly pork chops so that they would be ready for grilling!

Reading about Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is like exploring a history of Canada! The company is over a century old and has merged with many iconic Canadian companies to become the Canadian-made success it is today. Its origins can be traced back over 170 years to Grantham Mills, built in 1836 in St. Catharines, Ontario, not too far from where I now live.

With 28 meals a week to be responsible for, a truly helpful website from a company like Maple Leaf is my new BFF!
How many meals do you make a week and where do you get your inspiration from?

:: images courtesy of Maple Leaf Foods Inc.


Happy Birthday Canada!

By / Par: Isabelle Remy - Dorval, Quebec

Category / Catégorie: From Isabelle

Dear Canada,

What can we give a country that has everything? Water’s coming out of your ears, and oil too (as soon as prices go back up!). You have more culture and diversity that should be allowed, not to mention national treasures such as Rick Mercer! You are so hard to shop for!

I know, how about some unabashed love? Something warm & fuzzy that will carry you all year long? Here are my top 8 favorite odes to you Canada, in no particular order:


1) My son’s favorite jingle

2) Cool claymation

3) Crafty dominoes

4) Rick Mercer

5) It’s hip to be Canadian

6) Anthem animation

7) A classic

8) Short & sweet

With much love,

Isabelle & family


Image source: Sunset Harbour